Friday, April 14, 2017

Low Carb Chili Recipe

Here is the recipe for the chili I made earlier in the week. My family loved it even though it had no beans.  Beans have too many carbs for me.

Major hint: don't forget the tomato paste! At first I didn't add it, and Patrick and I kept looking at it,  We were puzzled, because it didn't look like chili.  So I reread the recipe and Duh me! forgot the tomato paste. Please add the tomato paste!




Low Carb Chili
Adapted from Andres Regalado
Serves: 6

  •          2 pounds of ground beef
  •          8 oz. tomato paste
  •          3 tomatoes chopped
  •          1 red bell pepper chopped
  •          1 small onion chopped
  •          2 celery sticks chopped
  •          2 teaspoons cumin
  •          2 teaspoons chili powder
  •          ½ teaspoon black pepper
  •          1-1/2 teaspoons of garlic salt
  •          (Optional) 1 tablespoons of Adobe sauce or chopped Chiptole peppers
  •          2 or more cups of water


  1. Brown the meat in a medium large stove pot. Once almost finished, drain off fat and sprinkle the garlic salt over the meat.
  2. Add onions and peppers to pot and continue to cook for 1 or 2 minutes.
  3.  Add the tomatoes, celery, tomato paste, celery, water and seasonings to the pot. Mix.
  4. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer for two hours. Occasionally stir the chili.
  5. Top with diced onions, cheese and sour cream.
  6.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Rustic Sign I Painted



Two Sundays ago I was invited to a paint party by a friend of mine.  We were allowed to look at many designs and decide on one or more.  I chose this one to be in my foyer.  I make a ton of paper decor  but I wanted something different.

You are probably asking how did I make it? Inquiring minds want to know!!  I will tell you, because it was very easy to assemble.  The price including everything - the stencil, the board, the sander if you want that and the paint.

First I received a pale board with the borders. I didn't want to the edges to be blonde and I wanted the inside to be black.  I liked the idea that the sign would be like the chalkboard sign.

I stained the edges with walnut, and after it dried painted the inside black. The blue tape helped me not paint the stained part black.  Here is a picture of it drying.


After it dried the person who is the consultant had previously made a stencil with the words, decorations, our last name, and the year we got married.  We applied the stencil over the dried black paint. It was a little warm outside so I had to finish my project inside because the stencil was not adhering the black paint.  The next step was to paint over the stencil with white paint and waited for it to dry.  There was a lot of waiting for the paint to dry.  Here is a picture of the white paint over the stencil.

When it was finally dry we pulled up the stencil, and Viola!  The words about my family.  I loved this project.  Painting is definitely different than paper crafting!  I will have a party late summer so we can decorate  for the fall season.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Fell Off the Face of the Earth




Yes it has been almost a year since writing last.  A ton of changes happened - both good and bad.  That is life. Right?  I want to start writing again mostly for myself.  This blog will still have posting about Moya Moya syndrome, recipes and crafts but different at the same time.

The last posting we were going to Flagstaff, Arizona.  That was a great trip! Very pretty - lots of trees and weather!  What is that? Rain, thunder and lightening.  Living in the desert we don't get weather - just hot and hotter. Flagstaff's elevation is 7,000 feet so it has much better weather and landscape than we have here. We saw the Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater and Wilsow.  Think of the Eagle's song. Jenan was taking a Visual Corps training at Northern Arizona University so she is in none of pictures. I think we will have to do the trip again with Jenan.

My word for the 2017 year is HEALTHY - healthy body, mind and bank account.

Right now my focus is my health.  A year ago the doctor said that I have diabetes and we will monitor it with my diet.  Yeah right!  I didn't change a thing.  Stupid me!  I am paying for it now.  I went to my GP about a month with numerous complaints, mostly I have psoriasis on my scalp bad! I just want to scratch my head all of the time.  Well, when I saw the doctor she chewed me out big time!  Didn't like that I gained weight when I was supposed to lose it. She wanted my labs stat, but of course I waited a week.  I was afraid what they would show (diabetes).  Of course they showed my sugars were up in the diabetic range.  Long story short, I now take glucophage; check my glucose levels every morning and change the way I eat.  I eat high protein (high fat) and low card (less than 20 carbs a day).  It is amazing how many foods are high carbs.  No bread, pasta, candy, starchy vegetables (potatoes) and most fruit.  These are the items that I love. I am allowed half of an avocado a day.  The main downfall I can't bake any more. I love baking!  I am showing Jenan how to do it.   Patrick doesn't know what to cook for dinner now.  We are still working the meals out.  Thank God I plan the meals out.  Tonight is pulled pork sandwiches, french fries and salad.  I will eat the pork and the salad but no fries or bun. I am using no carb BBQ sauce by Walden Farms but the family doesn't know that little bit of change.  Walden Farm's products taste pretty good.

I would be lying that this has been an easy transition.  Depressing is what it is.  I am slowly coming out of my depression.  I have to stop beating myself up.  From now on this is my life. Another trial,  Not that having Moya Moya syndrome, migraines, unable to work much, and now diabetes too is enough.  The good thing I am losing weight - 11.8 pounds so far.

I need to stop feeling sorry for myself.  I am signing off for now.  I will write more regularly because I find it therapeutic.  I promise to still post about Moya Moya syndrome; more pictures of items I have made and recipes low carb. Hopefully I can help someone else. That would make me feel better!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Vacation


First of all last week we went on vacation to Flagstaff, Arizona so I didn’t write at all. My daughter Jenan is in the Palm Springs Spirit of the Sands band and loves it.  She can’t play an instrument to save her life, just like her parents. She is a part of the Visual Corp or a “Tall Flag” girl.  Last week she and a fellow Visual Corp girl went to camp for four days.  They worked very hard and learned new techniques and spins.  At the end we saw a performance and the girls won an award for Most Improved. I am so proud of them. 
I was designated as their driver so I bought my husband Patrick and my son Shane with me.  We were able to explore Flagstaff and the surrounding areas.  We went to the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Meteor Crater, and Winslow.  Winslow was sort of sad, because the recession hit it hard.  If you are an Eagles fan, you know why we were there. “Take It Easy” was singing in the background. 
We were pleasantly surprised about Arizona mainly the northern part of the state.  It was beautiful with the pine trees and cool weather. While we were there it was mainly in the low 80’s during the day, and in the 50’s at night.  We got lucky because it rained accompanied by thunder and lightning every day.  Living in Palm Springs we haven’t seen rain since January, plus cooler weather won’t come back until late October or early November.  We loved it!  The further south we drove it became a desert again just like home. Icky!

I will share my pictures and insights on our trip over the next couple of blog posts.  I was able to take some amazing pictures.  We are back at home in the 116̊ heat, and hating it.  I will resume writing and making cards and scrapbooking in the a/c with a fan blowing on me. Bliss!  Talk to you tomorrow.  

Thursday, July 14, 2016

I Crave a Change

Craving a Change



This week I have been unsettled.  I want a change. I want summer to be over so I can resume subbing and earning extra money again. All of the subbing money I earn will go towards getting rid of the debt. I want to start seriously saving so we can travel and buy a house somewhere not in the desert. I know a lot of “I want”.   Patrick has to retire – minor detail.  We are going to look into early retirement once school starts again.  School starts in less than a month.  I am writing it here because my family would be horrified about my wanting them back at school.  Patrick just started his vacation this week. He thankfully taught summer school because we need the extra funds for the Back of School clothes and supplies.  I think this will be the final year of teaching summer school. He is getting a tad burn-out on teaching. He needs his summers back.  I am hoping that the mini vacation next week in Flagstaff will help with my being unsettled. God I hope so.  

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Double Chocolate Coca-Cola Cake

Last Sunday we went a party at our friend's house and I meant to bring this cake. Yes,  I meant to bring it. The only thing was it bombed bit time!  The cake fell in the middle and the frosting wouldn't spread.  Totally strange. I have made this a multiple of times and it turns out great.  Just not this time.

The recipe is a good one and I am sharing it with you.  Sunday was the only time it was an epic failure.





I can still remember my Mom pouring out a bottle of Coke to make this cake. It was our favorite. This cake is so moist and the icing is just irresistible. I hope you get a chance to make this one.
Double Chocolate Coca Cola Cake
1 cup Coca Cola (real thing, not diet)
1/2 cup oil
 
1 stick butter
3 Tablespoon cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
Frosting:
1 stick butter
3 Tablespoon cocoa
6 Tablespoon of cream or milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups confectioner's sugar
In a saucepan, mix Coca Cola, oil, butter and cocoa and bring to a boil. In another bowl, combine the sugar, flour and salt. Pour the boiling Cola mixture over the flour mixture and beat well. Add the eggs, buttermilk, soda and vanilla and beat well. Pour mixture into a greased and floured 13 x 9 inch baking pan and bake at 350 degrees or 20 to 25 minutes. Remove pan. Cool for about 10 minutes before frosting.
Frosting: In a saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa, and milk. Heat until the butter melts. Beat in the remaining ingredients and spread on the cake while it's still warm. Enjoy!


Friday, July 8, 2016

Cuban Beef Sandwiches

Cuban Beef Sandwiches

This is the Crockpot dinner we are having tonight. It is a new recipe, so I will tell you how it turns out on Monday.  Last weekend we watched a DVD called "Chef" and it talked about Cuban sandwiches.  Theirs was made with pork, but I was wanting one. Thankfully I saw the recipe and pulled it out of the magazine. We had all of the ingredients so it is tonight's dinner.  If you print the recipe you will notice that it can made in the Crockpot but also in the Pressure Cooker. I have both but I feel more comfortable with my Crockpot.  Crockpot it is! Enjoy!